Louisiana plumbers closer to expanding territory as bill advances
Legislation would offer restricted plumbers full statewide licensure
Louisiana lawmakers advanced a proposal Tuesday that would give full statewide licensure to plumbers currently restricted to working in a certain parish or local jurisdiction. (WES MULLER/LOUISIANA ILLUMINATOR)
The Louisiana House of Representatives advanced a proposal Wednesday that would give full licensure to plumbers currently restricted to working in local jurisdictions.
House Bill 300, sponsored by Rep. Phillip Devillier, R-Eunice, passed the House unanimously and will next head to the Senate for consideration. It would eliminate a licensing roadblock within state law that restricts certain plumbers from working outside of a limited geographical area.
DeVillier said the bill would allow plumbers who have worked under a restricted license prior to Jan. 1, 2023, to obtain either the state journeyman’s license or master plumber’s license upon written request to the State Plumbing Board of Louisiana.
After the state enacted its master plumber licensing laws in 1990, plumbers who were licensed by local jurisdictions and chose not to obtain the new state license could continue working so long as they did not work outside of their local jurisdiction.
DeVillier said Louisiana has made it “extremely difficult” for plumbers to become licensed. He said his bill could provide some relief to the labor shortage though he expects it will impact only a small percentage of plumbers in the state.
To obtain a plumber’s license, one must first become an apprentice, work under a master plumber’s supervision for about five years and pass multiple state exams.
A journeyman plumber must have at least five years or 8,000 hours of experience as a licensed apprentice, can perform installations while working for a master plumber and can supervise an apprentice. A master plumber must be a licensed journeyman or professional engineer who can perform all areas of plumbing work, own a plumbing business and employ apprentices and journeyman plumbers.
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